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Identifying and Strengthening Soft Skills

Recognizing and developing soft skills is an important step in preparing for a new job, but it shouldn’t stop there. It’s important to continue gaining and building upon relevant soft skills throughout your career, making you a more well-rounded professional.

A recent FastForward career coach survey identified some important skills students work on during their training and provided insight on how to develop them.

Life skills that are transferable

Skills come in all shapes and sizes and can be categorized in many ways. Some important skills identified in the survey include work ethic, emotional intelligence, versatility, and dependability. These are abilities that can be nurtured and applied to everyday job settings.

Often, to identify established skills, students have to look within themselves and recognize their own strengths.

“Students should pay attention to their day-to-day habits. Good habits that we focus on every day like punctually, dependability, and attitude serve us well in the work force,” said Eastern Shore Community College career coach Barbara Rang.

Ways to strengthen your skills

Building your skills will rely on gaining a wealth of knowledge from different avenues and taking what you can from each experience.

Various FastForward trainings help students build specific skills needed for respective industries. There are other resources available at your local community college that help develop soft skills, like resume, LinkedIn, and interview workshops. Colleges like Eastern Shore Community College offer “Lunch and Learns” for additional insight. And the Community College Workforce Alliance is a great tool to better understand what you need to succeed in an ever-evolving workforce.

Outside of the classroom, on-the-job experience and externships are great experiences for taking your skills to the next level. Or consider enrolling in clubs and events that revolve around your abilities with like-minded individuals to help reinforce your strengths.

There are many online resources at your disposal with various tools like LinkedIn certifications, YouTube videos, self-help books, and personality tests like the Myers-Briggs assessment.

Don’t give up

Developing new skills takes time and effort. Our career coaches are here to provide you with guidance and support to help you succeed. And don’t forget that you’re not alone. There are many other students just like you looking to learn and expand their skillsets for the first

“I had a student with a GED come to me with interest in our FastForward programs,” said New River Community College career coach Ryan Adams. “It took a lot of work on his part to even get started in the class and even more work once the class started. However, six weeks later he had his CDL Class-A license and even better, a secure job making good money.”

Looking to start identifying and building your skillset? Contact your local career coach.